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Zorro Down Under: Settler Colonial Architecture and Racial Scripts en Route from California to Australia

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During the interwar years (1918–39), California's characteristic verandas, archways, and red tile roofs spread to Australia. Originally, Spanish Colonial Revival architecture was popularized in California alongside what historians have called the "Spanish fantasy past," a romanticized Spanish California that linked the state's modern rise to an Anglo-American future and fixed Mexican and Indigenous populations in a bygone era. Looking to the movement of the Spanish fantasy past from California to Australia via "Spanish Mission" style offers new insights for Chicana/o studies. The fantasy past serves as a powerfully flexible racial script that helps make sense of race relations far beyond its point of origin and connects seemingly mundane choices about home design to ongoing processes of settler colonialism in Pacific communities. As an eager adopter of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture during a period when the government was actively redistributing land, Australia illustrates how the Spanish fantasy past has been translated and how Chicana/o studies frameworks informed by critical Indigenous studies can provide insights into relational forms of race making and colonialism.

Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: March 1, 2021

More about this publication?
  • Aztlán presents original research that is relevant to or informed by the Chicano experience. An interdisciplinary, refereed journal, Aztlán focuses on scholarly essays in the humanities, social sciences, and arts, supplemented by thematic pieces in the dossier section, an artist's communiqué, a review section, and a commentary by the editor, Charlene Villaseñor Black. Aztlán seeks ways to bring Chicano studies into critical dialogue with Latino, ethnic, American, and global studies.
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